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Meet Ellita – wedding planner and stylist turned celebrant, MC (Master of Ceremonies) and floral creator.

Ellita is a Wānaka celebrant and wedding extraordinaire, who delivers everything from the planning to the execution on your big day. She creates custom packages tailored to each individual and personal vision. The overall goal? To give her clients a stress free, memorable wedding day.

Bride and groom eloping in nature

How long have you been a wedding coordinator?

I’ve been planning weddings in Central Otago and the Southern Lakes regions for over 6 years. I started off as the Wedding and Events Manager at Edgewater Resort in Wānaka before venturing out on my own 3 years ago as Ellita Marianne Weddings & Events.

I now wear many hats because I keep adding to my offerings. I’m an official marriage celebrant, MC, wedding planner, stylist and floral creator. That’s what I love about working in the wedding industry – there are so many avenues you can take.

What is your favourite part of a wedding day?

It has to be the ceremony! There are so many emotions in the air and it’s such a joy hearing people’s stories and being able to witness their love for each other.

I get so excited when people ask for something different, a cultural tradition or fun addition to the day. I encourage couples to stay true to themselves, not take their day too seriously and think about how they want their day to feel.

Why can weddings be so stressful?

I recently got married myself and it was a huge learning curve for me. After being part of so many weddings I finally really understood the wedding nerves. Of course, I was trying to do everything myself and it’s hard to be in planning and detail mode while fully enjoying the day.

There are so many things to think about, from the guest list to seating plans. Decor to timings. It all boils down to the day no matter how many to-do lists you’ve written beforehand and there’s not going to be a second run (we hope).

What is one piece of advice you would give to future wedding couples?

Get a wedding planner! It’s not just me saying this – I have heard time and time again from couples, “if I did it again, I would get a wedding planner”.

It takes the stress out of the lead up to and on the day, allowing couples (and guests) to relax and really be present on the day. It goes so fast after all.

What is your must do for couples getting married in Wānaka?

Jump in the lake, on your wedding day! If that doesn’t float your boat (because it is chilly) take a helicopter to the mountain peaks. Lake Lochnagar, Alta Tarns and Minaret Station are some of my favourites.

Bride and Groom exchanging their vows

What do you think will be trending for the next wedding season and onwards?

Lots of colour, sustainable choices, short wedding dresses and champagne towers. After a very strange and unpredictable 2 years, we are so excited to be celebrating again. People are going to hold their loved ones a little bit closer and party a little bit harder.

Lastly, what do you love most about living in this region?

I recently had a conversation with someone returning from an overseas trip and she said “here, we live in a holiday”. I think that sums it up perfectly.

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